An open border too far? (Or a Bush attack too far?)
the meaning of the events of the last couple of weeks? Are we experiencing what I have called
a Camp of the Saints
moment, with a million non-Western bodies suddenly manifesting in our country in a great mass (as a million South Asian refugees suddenly land in the south of France in The Camp of the Saints
), and the establishment caving cowardly before them? Or are we having, at long last, a wake-up call that actually wakes people up? A smart observer of the scene called me on the phone with some thoughts on the subject.
The way the establishment has reacted to this is not new, he says. For example, while the fact that the entire political class is now calling illegal aliens “immigrants” may seem like a new departure, such behavior is not different in kind from calling them “undocumented workers,” which it has done for many years. The establishment’s default position has been to give the illegals everything that could be reasonably given to them. This status quo ante was good for the aliens and for their treasonous allies, the American establishment. The main thing the establishment had going for it was the popular belief, spread by the establishment itself, that immigration is “not a big deal,” it’s just routine, part of a long established American tradition, because we’ve always been a “nation of immigrants.” But President Bush, by launching his radical open borders initiative in January 2004, and his more recent guest worker and amnesty proposal in 2005, convinced people that illegal immigration is a big deal after all. Once illegal immigration was established as a big issue, most people came out against any further accommodation to the illegals.
In other words, the establishment had all along facilitated the Third-World invasion of America by keeping the American people’s attention not focused on it. Bush with his extreme proposal (and his incredibly arrogant manner of pursuing it) forced them to focus on it, and now that they have done so, they’re strongly opposed to it.
The aliens made a mistake similar to Bush’s. They had a status quo that was extravagantly in their favor. But out of greed, aggression, and ethnic pride they made a bid—with the massive demonstrations, the Mexican flags, the posters saying that America belongs to them, and all the rest of it—for something much more, namely a precipitate surrender by the American majority. Like Osama bin Laden’s launching of the 9/11 attack, this was a titanic blunder on their part, because millions of ordinary Americans are now aware of and alarmed by illegal immigration, and even by Hispanic immigration generally, as never before.
I would add that there is a further parallel between the aliens on one side and their fifth-column enablers led by Bush on the other. In both cases, the reason they failed to be more cautious was their own overweening arrogance and hostility toward the American people. For their part, the Hispanics have contempt for the gringo American majority and wanted to express it before the world, regardless of consequences. For his part, Bush, who I sincerely believe despises America more than Clinton ever did (this is not an expression of Bush hatred; see below discussion for further explanation of what I mean by this), was unwilling to act in a rational way to achieve his objectives, that is, he was unwilling to build political support for his amnesty and guest worker programs by first demonstrating a real commitment to enforcement. Why was he unwilling? Because he doesn’t give a damn about enforcement, doesn’t believe in enforcement, doesn’t want enforcement, and so is unwilling to practice it or even to put forth a plausible pretense of practicing it. He doesn’t believe in enforcement because he doesn’t believe in America. He wants to change America, to end it as a white majority country, as soon as he can, so that there will be no further possibility of a “resentful” white backlash against the Hispanicization of America that he explicitly embraced in his August 2000 speech in Miami.
So, the aliens are true believers in their ethnos and its rising power. Bush is a true believer in handing America over to them. Neither they nor he were willing to engage in even a pretense of moderation. And so they have both overreached and broken this issue wide open for the first time and started to wake up the long dormant American people to the immigration threat.
- end of initial entry -
Gerald M. writes from Dallas:
I generally agree with everything you write about immigration. And maybe I’ve got it wrong; maybe it’s the man you talked with on the phone and not you. But surely you don’t actually, “…believe Bush despises America more than Clinton ever did.”
Where’s the evidence for that? Clinton is on record expressing contempt for the basic institutions of our country, his hatred of the military, his belief in the supremacy of the U.N. over national sovereignty. Bush strikes me as a shallow, stupid, ignorant, and possibly alcohol brain-damaged frat boy, in way, way over his head. But I don’t see him actually hating the people and institutions he supposedly serves.
Yes, W has done great damage to this country; yes, he probably does have some vague concept of a Western Hemisphere Free Trade Zone which could be the greatest betrayal of America in history.
But I’ve been studying this guy since before he was governor of Texas. And, yeah, I rate him the worst president at least since LBJ and possibly in my lifetime(back to Truman); I personally loathe the man, yet I really believe he thinks he is doing the right thing for his country, however imperfectly he understands it.
C’mon, Mr. Auster. Consider the literal meaning of what you say. I just don’t believe it’s true.
There is one other thing you might consider. You are seeking to influence and persuade people in what is probably the most important policy debate since…when?
Hell, maybe it’s the most important debate we’ve EVER HAD AS A NATION.
Is my memory is playing tricks on me, or haven’t I seen you dismiss some folks, on the left and right, as crazed Bush haters? That’s exactly what you sound like here.
The people you are trying to reach, who we need on our side, are—generally speaking—people who voted for Bush, some enthusiastically so. Criticize Bush as much as you want, but remember your audience. Many who are sympathetic to your message won’t appreciate their president—bad as he is—being called worse than Clinton.
Look, Mr. Auster, I’ve always admired your zealotry in this debate. But unless you want to be marginalized as just another “crazed Bush hater,” consider toning it down a bit. I think the results will be positive.
I appreciate your concern, and I will explain more fully what I mean when I say that Bush despises America (I didn’t say “hate”) more than Clinton did.
Clinton had and has the typical left-liberal resentment toward America of the wounded adolescent who has been let down by his cold and/or weak father and spends the rest of his life striking back at all father figures. But he was not a true believer pursuing a messianic purpose to transform America, because he was not capable of any fixed belief. Arguably the most anti-American thing he did was when he said that we needed a third American revolution (the second being the civil rights revolution) to move America to the point where it becomes a white minority country. He said this once or twice . He wasn’t fixated on it. Also, the belief that America must become non-white was not some special invention of Clinton’s but the conventional and proper belief of our time, coming from our national religion of non-racial discrimination combined with non-discriminatory immigration policy making America into a racial mirror of the world. There is no other acceptable belief system today than the racial transformation of America, and Clinton was merely echoing it and spelling out its implications.
But contrast, Bush has expressed a fixed, puritanical-style purpose to transform America racially and culturally. He celebrated and welcomed, not just the ongoing racial changes (and remember, racial changes, even according to conservatives, are not supposed to matter anyway, so long as everyone assimilates into the same culture), but the transformation of America into a Spanish speaking country with a Hispanic culture. No Republican had ever done that before; Bush celebrated the end of assimilation, the Hispanicization of the U.S.
Most importantly, let us never forget Bush’s pet proposal, first made on January 7, 2004 and never decisively abandoned, to open the U.S. to every person on earth who can underbid an American for a job. This would mean literally millions of immigrants a year from the Third World. I have called this the most radical proposal by any president in U.S. history. Clinton never proposed anything like it. When it comes to open borders, Bush is in a class by himself.
I would also underscore a point I made earlier, Bush’s absolute refusal even to attempt to put out a plausible pretense of seeking to enforce the immigration laws seriously as a way of getting his amnesty and guest worker scheme accepted. This refusal to compromise or even to pretend to compromise is the mark of the true believer—a true believer who seeks the end of historical America. Clinton may have been lazy and corrupt about the border, and been perfectly fine with lots of illegals and unassimilable Third-Worlders coming in (though he did invade Haiti to prevent a Haitian influx), but Clinton never showed the naked determination of Bush to have open borders.
Bush has OPENLY expressed a hostility toward American patriots that even Clinton never expressed, for example, when, standing next to the anti-American president of the country to our south, he said that the Minutemen were vigilantes. His speech in Africa about slavery went beyond Clinton’s similar speech. Clinton apologized for slavery. Bush said that the same racism that drove slavery is still active in America today. Bush had his liberal feminist wife accuse conservatives of bias against women because they opposed the totally unqualified Harriet Miers. Bush, the president who declared war on Islamic terrorism, astonishingly turned around and suggested that people who had any problem with the Dubai ports deal were racially prejudiced against Arabs. Bush, who urged people to show the greatest caution about terrorists on airplanes, sued an airline company when they kept a suspect Muslim off a flight. This almost endless pattern of behavior by Bush shows a central fixation on his part that conservative white America is racist and must be shown no quarter This is simply beyond Clinton’s own highly offensive statements.
A related pattern of behavior, remarked on at VFR by many commenters not just me, is Bush’s demonstrated enjoyement of sticking it to his own followers and supporters, showing his moral superiority to them. In my view, this attitude of contempt toward his own base is closely related to his animus against white and traditional America.
Also, Bush in his first inaugural unfolded a vision of America as a guilty country that went beyond anything Clinton had ever said. Very few people noticed the leftist, America-the-guilty theme of Bush’s first inaugural, because the left hates Bush too much to notice how leftist he is, and it wouldn’t serve their purposes anyway, while the right is too invested in supporting him to notice it, and also because the right is so stupid that all Bush had to do was throw in some Christian imagery and he had them in the palm of his hand. Now you may say that I am going too far in calling the right stupid, and that I will lose possible converts to immigration restrictionism. But isn’t it the case at this very moment that many conservatives are admitting that they were blinded all these years to Bush’s liberalism and are just waking up? Such people should not mind being told that they’ve been stupid in the past, since they are saying it themselves.
Of course, important qualifications are called for in this indictment. Bush will use force in defense of America in a way Clinton would never do. Gore would not have attacked Afghanistan. Bush deserves tremendous credit for the way he handled that situation. Bush is using whatever powers he can to defend us from terrorists, as with the warrantless surveillance. But beyond the issue of immediate physical threats to America, when it comes to demographic and cultural threats, and when it comes to a driven need to attack America’s own supposed racism (a theme constantly harped on by Bush’s pal and Secretary of State), Bush is more of an enemy of America than Clinton was.
So, in saying what I’ve said in my response to you and in the original blog entry, I do not think I am indulging in Bush-hatred. I think I am making factual statements about him, and drawing logical conclusions from those facts. Furthermore, I am not obsessing on anti-Bushism for the sake of anti-Bushism. My comments on Bush in this blog entry were part of a larger point, that through his fixed unyielding commitment to open borders (beyond anything Clinton ever did) he has helped wake up for the first time a widespread reaction against the open borders agenda. So I’m thankful for this.
I thank you for your well stated criticisms which required me to explain myself further. I agree with you entirely that we should not focus too much on Bush but on the issue of immigration. But please remember also that this is not a single-issue or agenda-driven website, like Jihad Watch or vdare or Numbers USA. I write on issues that are of pressing national importance, but I also explore any subject that I consider to be of interest; I am not wedded to an agenda. Remember also the description of VFR in its masthead: “The passing scene and what it’s about viewed from the traditionalist politically incorrect Right.” In this connection, I treasure something Thomas Molnar said to me when I visited him at his New Jersey home in 1997. Professor Molnar mentioned Marx’s statement that we should not seek to understand the world but to change it. Molnar turned that around and said, “We should not try to change the world but to understand it.” I think it is healthy to remember that perspective, even when we are in involved in a political battle to save our country.
Mark D. writes:
Interesting comments on Clinton and Bush, which I tend to agree with.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 12, 2006 11:59 PM | Send
Because I distrust our central government as a matter of principle, I never really had great problems with Clinton, because he was a do-nothing President. He had attitudes and feelings, but they were ephemeral and fleeting, and, as you say, he had no fixations or passions that he pursued to the bitter end. His presidency was tactical and practical, not strategic; he just didn’t think in strategic categories.
As for Clinton despising or hating America, I don’t think Clinton had any strong feelings about the matter; Clinton was infatuated with himself, and his tactical brilliance as a politician, and had little room for other affections.
Bush is wholly different. He is neither tactical nor practical, and is weak in both qualities. He thinks in broad strokes that are necessarily strategic, if actually implemented. Hence, with respect to immigration, his “vision” is revolutionary and strategic, and wholly neglectful of mundane measures like border enforcement or practical politics. With respect to Hispanics, he has a Moses complex; they are his Chosen People and he is going to lead them out of bondage to their Promised Land (much like the Arabs of the Middle East, whom he is going to save through “democratization”). Bush’s immigration policy is so radical, and so chaotic, it has even evoked opposition from liberals like Krugman and Samuelson.
Do you see a similarity between the Iraq adventure (and the entire “democratize the Middle East” idea) and the open borders policy?
They are both revolutionary, apocalyptic, aggressive in the extreme, fixated, and couched in almost religious language of national and global salvation. They brook no opposition. They are expressed in expansive, unyielding terms. There is no hint of doubt or compromise. Practical realities, and actual results, are ignored. The opposition is demonized in typical liberal imagery (racist, xenophobic, etc.). It has all assumed a nearly cult-like psychology and presentation.
I agree with you. Bush’s radicalism has opened some eyes, and mobilized some opposition, to illegal immigration. While some might ignore the messianism so long as it is confined to Iraq thousands of miles away (and can be justified away with comforting words about national security and terrorism), when that same messianism creates concrete realities in Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, and Kansas, then the situation changes dramatically.
Bush has alienated liberals, and much of the center, with the Iraq adventure. He is presently alienating the right with his immigration policy. Because I don’t think he can change, he will end up alone (with the exception of sycophants like Rice and the usual peanut gallery of chattering class Republicans).
At least Clinton kept the Democrats with him.